How to set up Kodi for music slide shows?
For years I have been contemplating switching to Android TV boxes from my current setup, but the biggest obstacle was that I couldn't figure out how to reproduce one feature of my current media steamers (Popcorn Hour players, 8-10 years old) which we use all the time on Kodi. I'd appreciate if anyone gave me pointers in the right direction (or told me that this is just not possible under Kodi).

Here is what I am trying to achieve with Kodi:
  • I have a giant (15,000) collection of my family jpeg pics which are stored in one networked folder. They are already properly scaled down (width <=1920 pixels, height <=1080 pixels), so no re-scaling is needed by Kodi when displayed on a 1080p TV.
  • My music files collection is also stored as networked folders.
  • I want to be able to quickly (2-3 clicks) navigate to one of my music folders, then start playing all of the music files there, including subfolders, in a random order (shuffle).
  • When music starts playing, I want random images from my collection to be displayed full screen, also in a random order. No re-scaling should be done. I don't care about transition effects (so it's either None, or perhaps Dissolve). I don't want anything else to be displayed while music is playing.
  • Regardless of which music folder I am listening to, I want the same image folder to be used for the slide show.

I have very little experience with Kodi, so I am at loss if this can be achieved. My understanding is that I'd need an add-on, though not quite sure which one. Perhaps I also need a custom skin? I tried Artistic Slideshow addon with the most recent Kody release (default skin), and kind of got what I wanted, but not quite. The music played in random order, while my images where displayed in a random order, but: (a) images were very dim, (b) images were scaled to fit the width of the screen, which for many of my images cut off the top and bottom, and © slide show is not enabled by default, I always have to click to enable it after the music starts. Unfortunately, the add-on didn't have any options to disable image re-scaling. Finally, in the default setup it takes too many clicks to get to the music folder I need (there must be a way to make folders the only option displayed by Kodi - I don't want to see all these "Artist", "Genre" etc options).

Any help would be appreciated.
I'd use the picture slideshow screensaver myself.  If you want to get to get to your music files quickly, navigate to where you want to be initially, and then use the context menu to add that directory to favourites. Then in future, you can just go down to favourites and click 'play' on the required directory on the right.
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(2019-07-21, 12:45)black_eagle Wrote: I'd use the picture slideshow screensaver myself.  If you want to get to get to your music files quickly, navigate to where you want to be initially, and then use the context menu to add that directory to favourites. Then in future, you can just go down to favourites and click 'play' on the required directory on the right.

Thanks, I'll look into the slideshow screensaver. But as this is a screensaver, it will not start immediately after I start playing music, correct?
I think your best best is to stick with Artistic Slideshow as a visualisation and then modify the MusicVisualisation.xml of Estuary to get exactly what you want.
The scaling issue is an easy fix, this line

is currently
change this to

I'm struggling to get the Artist Slideshow to show anything thus far (since I've never used it before) to see what if anything can be done, I assume the dim issue is because a background is being loaded as well as the image files. My best guess without being able to to anything working to test is
is currently
change this to

this removes the include but keeps the code line as a placemarker in case you want to add the include back in the future.

Perhaps @pkscout can confirm.


Ok got Artist Slideshow to display images and after testing can confirm my above suggestions should fix both your issues.
Thanks a bunch for the tips! I was leaning myself towards editing xml files, but needed some pointers.
If you edit MusicVisualisation.xml then stash a copy somewhere safe so next time you update Kodi you have it handy to see what changes you did by adding comments to the xml in the form <!-- comment --> for example

			<control type="multiimage">
<!-- changed aspectratio from scale to keep -->
<imagepath background="true">$INFO[Window(Visualisation).Property(ArtistSlideshow)]</imagepath>
Where is the file MusicVisualisation.xml located? (I am on Android TV box.) I did a search inside /sdcard/Android folder, nothing.
For an Android device then I'd use the internal Kodi File Manager.

First configure the source on left hand side


Set source to be special://xbmc this is a shortcut to install folder (should work on Android although I've never tried it)


Add source on the right hand side, this is the destination. On my example I've used a smb source on my desktop pc so I can edit the file there before copying back. you could copy to USB device if you have no smb or nfs network share.


On left hand side sekect the source you created then navigate to addons/skin.estuary/xml once done, move across to right hand side to select the desired destination folder


With file selected open Context menu (on keyboard this is C) and select Copy


File will appear on right hand side in the destination folder.

Thanks, I'll try that. The point is, I don't need to copy the xml file to desktop for editing, as I already installed an Android file browser with a text editor. I just need to know what the address special://xbmc stands for on my Android box, so I could browse there with my file browser.

Yes, I finally see the xml file, using the Kodi file manager. Now I can try to edit it using your method.
Ah ok, in that case going by HOW-TO:Change_data_location_for_Android (wiki) it might be /storage/sdcard0/external_sdcard/kodi_data

[edit] Actually might have read that wrong first time might be /sdcard/Android/data/org.xbmc.kodi/.kodi

[another edit] Think I finally got there see Special_protocol (wiki) which suggest it's /data/data/org.xbmc.kodi/cache/apk/assets/
It actually worked - thanks again! I ended up copying the xml file to Profiles kodi folder (because for some reason it fails to copy to usb thumbdrive - it's mounted read-only), which I could then access using my MK file manager app (which has a text editor). There I created a duplicate, then edited the file as you suggested and - voila - images are now both bright and unstretched.

I still have to click on visualisation icon every time I start playing music, to start the slide show - any idea if this can be done automatically?

I just tried the direct path you provided, but my file manager would not step inside the assets subdirectory, instead prompting to choose an app to run it. Perhaps it's a symlink? Or may be I need a rooted box? Not a big deal, as your method worked just fine.

It looks like this skin is hard-coded for fullHD. Is there a 4K skin where this trick will work? My main reason for messing up with this is that we'll soon be switching to 4K as our main TV, and I'd like to have a 4K version of my music slide show.
The 1080p for the skin is purely for the GUI elements it does not affect the resolution media can be displayed at, in the case of an Android device it will be limited by what the hardware is capable of, see 2809694 (post)
OK, I'm kind of jumping in here on the end, but I think my Estuary skin mod *might* do what you want.

333143 (thread)

There is an option in that skin mod to not scale images found by Artist Slideshow (Skin settings > Artwork) and an option to have the slideshow start immediately upon starting the music (also in Skin settings > Artwork).  That mod also only dims the screen at the beginning of a song when the song information is displayed.  After that it shows the images at full brightness.  If you just want to use AS to show your family pictures, there's an option in AS to use an override folder.  That folder will then be shown no matter the artist.  If you're going to do that, you can also turn off all the other sources so you're not downloading images you're never going to use.
Providing a debug log: Log_file/Easy (wiki)
Leia Estuary mod: 333143 (thread)
Artist Slideshow: Add-on:Artist_Slideshow (wiki)
SpeedFan Information Display: Add-on:SpeedFan_Information_Display (wiki)
You might want to check on Android subforum, but at least on my AndroidTV I can only show the gui in 1080p (I can play videos at 2160 though).  Since the music visualisation window is in the gui, I'm not sure it is possible to display at higher than 1080p (obviously your TV or AVR could upscale).

scott s.
maintainer of skin  Aeon MQ5 mods for post-Gotham Kodi releases:
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How to set up Kodi for music slide shows?00